If you’ve never been to Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival and you’re able to, I highly recommend planning your next Disney vacation between March and May to experience it. We were lucky enough to get down to Disney last May and we caught the tail end of the Flower and Garden Festival, but this year we were able to experience the kick off of the festival in all of its glory, from the concerts and food to the topiaries and our daughter’s favorite, the butterfly greenhouse! Each and every bit of Epcot we always love but the Spring additions made it that much better!
In the past, we’ve experienced your typical Disney vacation with very humid and hot days trekking through the parks, so vacationing this time in March was a totally different experience. I’ve never had to wear a jacket or two while I was on vacation in Disney but that’s vacationing in March for you, never know what weather you’ll get. So while most of our days in Disney were much more mild warm to hot, sunny days, we had about 1 1/2 to 2 days where the weather was in the 60s warming up sometimes to the 70s. It was actually a really nice treat to be in Disney and not be in sweltering heat like we have been every vacation in the past, but all I have to say is thank goodness I packed some maternity pants and jackets because this mommy-to-be would have been rocking some men’s winter Disney attire for a few days!
So with a few layers we were ready to start our chillier day in Epcot and enjoy all that the festival had to offer. First up was the creme de la creme for my little girl, she was going to meet her favorite friends, Mickey, Goofy, and Minnie, but not without a quick pit stop to see Pluto first, without a line I may add. Her visits were filled with frantic waves and jumping in excitement to tons of hugs and kisses galore, these are by far her best friends in the world and there’s certainly no denying how much she loves them. After paying her friends a visit we were on to experience Soarin’, well Mommy and Daddy anyway, meanwhile little one collected some pressed pennies for her new book. Afterwards it was back to rides for our little girl, from the The Land to Nemo and her favorite experience, the aquarium. By the time we finished up with the early morning rides we decided to head over and check out the butterfly greenhouse. This was amazing and really made our daughter’s Epcot day extra special. She just loved spotting all of the butterflies flying around her and landing in the flowers, so much so that we probably did a good three to four laps around the greenhouse.
After taking in the butterflies it was time for the World Showcase to open so we headed over to start our worldwide adventure which was going to be chock full of princess visits. Since opening time is around lunch time we managed to squeeze in Alice in Wonderland and Belle before we were all chomping at the bit for some lunch. While Dan headed over to try out the Fish and Chips in England and our little girl was kept satisfied with a German soft pretzel, I decided to go with another Turkey Leg in America. To be honest, gluten free lunch options that are up my alley are few and far between in Epcot so I’m usually stuck nibbling on snacks but this time around mommy and baby needed something more substantial. The turkey leg was just as delicious as always and made a perfectly filling lunch.
Once we were all refueled, we wandered through some more countries and finally arrived at my little girl’s favorite princess. Thankfully by this time it had started to warm up so we could all take our jackets off while waiting in the sunny line for Snow White, which normally is extremely unpleasant when it’s blistering hot but it was warmly welcomed on this day. Finally the big moment arrived and our little girl could give that long awaited hug to Snow White.
It was a long morning so not surprisingly after Snow White our little one crashed giving Mommy and Daddy a chance to see the countries a bit more and then sit down for some much needed rest ourselves but not without a special snack for mommy. I eyed this treat up since I first saw the Flower and Garden Festival menu so to say I was a little excited that it was indeed gluten free would be an understatement. So on our way to find some quiet benches for the rest of nap time we stopped at the food stand in France and picked up a Gluten Free Strawberry Marshmallow Macaron!
This macaron was AMAZING! I’m normally not a huge macaron person but this one was perfection. A light cookie with just the right amount of strawberry sweetness stuffed with a delicious marshmallow and a surprise strawberry jam center. It was a perfect little snack for this mommy-to-be, so perfect in fact I may have gotten another while we were in Epcot later in the trip!
After a great half a day in Epcot it started to get more chilly so we headed back to Wilderness Lodge to get changed before dinner that night. Ever since we had made our dinner reservations months ago we’ve really been looking forward to experiencing the Hollywood Brown Derby for the first time. I’d read really good things about the food and we decided to splurge on a special meal for just us three this time around. Sadly though, from start to finish the meal was a disaster and the food did not live up to the hype. We arrived for our 5:15 reservation and were left chasing around our little one for about 45 minutes until we were seated, needless to say we were exhausted before dinner even started and weren’t too happy about the late start. Our waiter took forever to greet us and was less than pleasant the entire meal but nevertheless I held out hope that their Cobb salad would meet my high expectations. Well, I had a good hour and a half to build up more excitement for my salad because we hadn’t seen any food until then, not even bread. I even had to flag the manager down to complain and hurry things along so at least our little girl had her food in the meantime but to say I was starving would be an understatement.
Finally, our food had arrived without any apology of the severe delay. The Gluten Free Cobb Salad was okay, nothing that I’d be too thrilled about and Dan sadly felt the same way about his meal. We quickly ordered dessert so we could get out of there before it got too late but it seems quickly doesn’t exist in that restaurant. My premade Creme Brulee trio took quite awhile to arrive and was again pretty underwhelming. As a whole, we most certainly would never dine at Brown Derby again not only because the service was terrible, I mean literally the worst we’d seen in Disney where each and every meal we’d ever had has been fantastic, but also because the food we felt didn’t warrant 2 meals from the dining plan.
It was an unfortunate ending to a really great day but thankfully that night we were able to catch a glimpse of the Magic Kingdom fireworks from our nice and warm room. Can’t ask for a better ending to a day then that! Stay tuned for more Disney fun!
Lindsay (26 weeks)